Novak Djokovic retirement message sent to rivals with new ‘main foc…

Novak Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, believes the Serbian tennis superstar could play for another four years at the top level in a warning to his rivals on tour. Djokovic turns 36 years old in May, but is showing no signs of slowing down at the moment.

He battled with a hamstring injury throughout the Australian Open, but only dropped one set on his way to winning his 22nd major with comfortable victories over the likes of Alex de Minaur and Stefanos Tsitsipas. It’s put him level with Rafael Nadal for the most major titles in the men’s game, but both players are hoping to add even more to their tally.

Following Roger Federer’s retirement last year, Djokovic and Nadal have both faced increased questions over their own futures in the sport. But Ivanisevic, who has been coaching Djokovic since 2019, doesn’t think the Serbian icon plans on quitting the sport any time soon.

“I am sure that he can go on for a few more years – two, three, four, I can’t put an exact number on it,” he told Tennis Majors. “His body is in perfect shape because he takes care of it so meticulously, he is always introducing something fresh into his regime.

“I mean, he won seven matches in Melbourne with half a leg, playing the way he played. His tennis keeps getting better and this is not just my opinion as his coach. Tennis commentators have noted the same and, most importantly, so have fellow players.

“For how long can he keep going like this, it depends on his motivations, desire, goals… A few more years for sure.” Djokovic was denied a waiver to enter the US to play in Indian Wells this week and looks unlikely to be granted the opportunity to play in the Miami Masters also.

It means he will likely make his return during the claycourt season and building up to the French Open, where Ivanisevic hints that revenge is on Djokovic’s mind from last year. “After everything that happened in Australia, he was sick and stuck to his bed for 10 days before the clay court season,” Ivanisevic added.

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“In Monte Carlo, he could barely breathe, it was a bit better in Belgrade, and then he started to play better – Madrid, Rome, all the way to the Roland Garros quarter-final (against Nadal). To be honest, I still don’t know what happened there, I still find that match a bit odd. Novak just wasn’t mentally ready to fight Nadal, who was the better player and deserved to win.

“So this year, the most important thing is to stay healthy and to prepare really well physically. Of course, our main focus is Roland Garros, he needs to be ready to give it his all there. He can do it.

“Nadal is the favorite on clay as long as he can walk, but if Novak is mentally up for it, he can beat anyone.”

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